Ministry is a whole bunch of ups and downs. There are certain things we need to keep in mind when it comes to working in ministry, working or volunteering in a church, speaking with students, staff or parents and much more. There are certain situations in which certain leadership actions need to take place. We all like to be “up”.
Here are some “ups” to keep in mind while we do this amazing thing called “ministry”:
Step Up- A goal is given to you but not clear direction. Sometimes we just need to take it and run with it. Step up into it and make it awesome. Make it effective. Someone dropped the ball on something, step up and own it. It shows your team you can take some heat for them and then you can go back with them and walk them through to help avoid it again. You see a student sitting by themselves but your busy. Don’t let the excuse of, “Surely someone else will talk to them.” Step up and be a pastor and care for your flock.
Back Up- Sometimes we just need to back up and evaluate the situation before we rush in and try to fix it. This is my tendency. I want to just get it done. Back up and see what the big picture is and then try again. Sometimes we want teenagers and parents to figure it out. Back up, let them work it out. Come alongside them. Sometimes we need to realize we cannot do somethings be ourselves, we need to back up, swallow our pride and get help.
Speak Up- This tends to be one of the harder ones for me. I am a people pleaser. Sometimes when I have a great idea I let it go because I was not asked. When I see something that went wrong or is not a good thing, I have been trying to speak up more. Sometimes it will better the organization. Speak up in someones life when you see something, in a loving way of course. Sometimes I rather the person not be mad at me instead of being their pastor and help them with sin in their life and walk them through a difficult situation.
Shut Up- I need to work on this too. Sometimes I say things when I shouldn’t. Or sthings have been said but could have been said later, in private, to that person and not in front of everyone. Something I have been working on even more is just shutting up and listening. I am finding the best counseling sessions I have done have been the ones in which I barely said anything and just listened. Instead of jumping in right away with my thoughts on how they should fix it, just shut up and listen and then ask if they want your input.
Show Up- Sometimes we don’t need to say anything at all. Just show up. Just like Job’s friends when he was in pain, they didn’t say a word and just sat there with him. Show up to that football game or play. Our presence means more to students than we will ever know.
Pray Up- We sometimes forget this. We are never doing anything by ourselves when we are in ministry unless we make it that way. Pray it up. Every situation, conversation, action or decision, give it God. The Holy Spirit will guide us in our decisions, actions, words and thoughts if we let Him. This one is the most important.